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Second Half Of 2021 And Both Halves Of 2022 Film Round Up

I didn’t actually watch any films in the first half of 2022, which is just as well in a way because this list is long enough and took ages to compile… and there’s me worrying last year about the fact I had gone six months without a film. I’m sill watching Cary Grant, I’m still watching cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. And I’m finding that the last few years have been stellar for superhero-in-some-way-or-form stories. (Shazam! will be on the next list I create and I loved the heck out of it.)

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The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer / Bachelor Knight [UK title] (USA, 1947) – Pretty fun throughout but there are a couple of absolutely hilarious scenes about three quarters of the way in that make it a winner.

Big Hero 6 (USA, 2014) – A genius scientist child, Hiro, takes over the creation of a medical care robot his equally-genius brother had been making before he died; Hiro keeps at it, animating the robot and later teaming up with others to fight a bad guy. Pretty darn entertaining with a lot of heart.

Bill (UK, 2015) – A fictionalised comedic film about the younger years of Shakespeare created by the people who made the Horrible Histories TV series and Ghosts. Ergo it’s bonkers, makes little sense, and is hilarious.

Charming (USA, 2019) – Prince Charming bewitches every women and this will only end on his 21st birthday, but then he meets the thief, Leonore, who isn’t bewitched by him at all and that means the spell may be broken. The only problem is she isn’t interested in him. Great premise, fell to stereotypical stuff too quickly.

Crazy Rich Asians (USA, 2018) – Nick takes his girlfriend Rachel to Singapore for the wedding of his friend; this is when she learns her boyfriend is incredibly, incredibly wealthy and when his mother finds out he’s dating someone without money… One of the best films I’ve ever seen – great cinematography, soundtrack, acting, and so on; I now get the hype about the book and hope to read it at some point.

Free Guy (USA, 2021) – An NPC in the world’s biggest MMORPG goes rogue when he meets a kick-arse female character who, it turns out, is a human player’s character. No longer is his repeated daily routine enough – he wants to be with the cool guys. Loved every moment, and it was wonderful to have a woman front and centre in both the game itself and in the gamer’s chair.

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GoldenEye (UK, 1995) – James Bond, enough said. I’m not the biggest fan of the films, too predictable for me, but it was interesting from a film history perspective.

Happiness Season (USA, 2020) – Harper invites her girlfriend Abby to spend Christmas with her family; it’s only once they’re on their way that Harper tells Abby she hasn’t told her family she’s gay. The premise and general atmosphere had a lot of promise, but it always seemed very possible that the family were going to be fine with Harper’s sexuality and the reality of her ‘friendship’, which made it go a bit too slowly. That said, the end was great, and Dan Levy was hilarious.

Kindergarten Cop (USA, 1990) – A cop goes undercover as a teacher to catch a drug dealer and discovers he loves teaching a heck of a lot. Fun!

Late Night (USA, 2019) – A woman whose late night show is dropping in the ratings hires a new member of staff based on their gender and race in order to hopefully freshen up her programme; Molly is her new Indian-American hire but Katherine isn’t sure it’ll work. Not particularly funny, no real effort given to showing why Molly is perfect for the job (she’s in theory a great writer), not very good.

Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House (USA, 1948) – The family lives in too small a home; Mr Blandings buys a home that supposedly needs a bit of fixing only to find the place is falling apart and they must work on it. Pretty unique and enjoyable; the house in the film was created by the production company to market the film and they in fact made many all over America. The buildings mostly still exist today, some are homes, others offices.

My Favourite Wife (USA, 1940) – Ellen’s ship is lost so, years later, Nick marries again, only Ellen’s not dead and she’s on her way back home. Pretty good, and the second wife is a nice person which makes it better.

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The Personal History Of David Copperfield (UK, 2019) – Young David goes to stay with the Peggotty family and when he gets back and his mother is married again he ultimately ends up having to leave due to his step-father and aunt; this starts him on a course of moving between and through various situations whilst he grows up. I haven’t read the book yet so I can’t comment on that aspect but the film was okay; sometimes funny, and the actors were all brilliant, particularly Dev Patel who made a perfect Dickens hero, but overall it just missed the mark a bit.

The Secret Life Of Pets (USA, 2016) – An owner gets a second dog and the two don’t get on, but they are forced to reassess when, away from their owner, a cat takes their collars and they loose that identification. I struggled with the personification of the rabbit but other than that it was good.

The Secret Life Of Pets 2 (USA, 2019) – This time the dogs are with their owner but they’ve got to keep an eye on her new little guy and his well-being. This was much more fun.

Sense And Sensibility (UK/USA, 1995) – The Dashwoods have to change their lifestyle when their house is given to their father’s son from a previous relationship, with the daughters looking to marry to help their three-person family carry on. Not so strangely, I felt similarly about this as I did the book, which is to say I quite liked it but not overly much. It’s still the Bennets for me.

Spies In Disguise (USA, 2019) – A top spy makes some mistakes and in order to try and get himself back in the game agrees to team up with a young inventor. He’s not sure about this inventor and he is right to be so – the young man accidentally turns him into a pigeon. Deterred yet not deterred, the spy wants to continue working even if he can no longer do anything human. The trailer was hilarious, and the whole film provides; brilliant fun.

The Thomas Crown Affair (USA, 1999) – A woman joins the case of a missing artwork, not caring that the men already working on it aren’t sure about her, and goes on a date with the main suspect, a billionaire who knows all, whilst working to bring him down. Saying anything more risks spoiling it – fab film.

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The Christmas Chalet (USA, 2019) – A chalet is double-booked by a single man and, then, a single mother and her daughter. They each can’t go anywhere else so they’ll have to get along. Doesn’t require all your focus.

Christmas In Evergreen (USA, 2017) – A woman wishes for a great Christmas, using what turns out to be a magic snow globe, but instead of it helping her long-distance relationship she finds love elsewhere when the daughter of a single father, both making a short stopover in the town, makes a wish with the snow globe too. Not great chemistry, but it ‘did’.

Christmas Wishes And Mistletoe Kisses (USA, 2019) – Abby helps decorate a regular Christmas tree and the owner of the business sees it as reason to suggest Abby tries for the job of decorating for a businessman’s party. Nick isn’t sure she’s right for the job… and I agree with him as very little effort is put into showing that she’s a good decorator, both in terms of the tree and the party. Which completely spoils the whole thing.

I’ve said enough here, I’ll leave it there. Let me know any recent films you’ve watched that you’d recommend.


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